Moroccan Chicken Paella
This is more ambitious than most of our Sunday Supper recipes. We did it one Sunday
night when we had friends over for Sunday Supper.
- Roast one green and one red pepper (use some spicy peppers to add more zip). Remove the
charred skin and cut the flesh into small cubes.
- Cook 2 Aidell's Chorizo-style Sausages. Cool and cut into thin
- Cut some tasso into very small cubes.
- Roast one small chicken. Let cool and then shred meat into bite size pieces.
- Chop 4-5 wedges of Moroccan-style preserved lemons.
- Soak a handful of raisins in white vermouth.
To make the rice:
2 cups basmati rice
3 - 3½ cups chicken broth
1 - 1½ cups chopped canned tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1 onion finely chopped
Mexican dry oregano
- Sauté onion in olive oil. Add minced garlic and oregano and cook for few minutes. Add
rice and cook at fairly high heat until rice turns milky white in color (watch carefully
so rice does not burn). Turn down heat, add tomatoes and stir until liquid is absorbed by
- Heat chicken broth and add saffron. After rice has absorbed the tomato liquid, add hot
chicken broth, chopped lemons and raisins. Cover and cook on very low flame, about 20 - 30
- When rice is tender, add peppers, tasso and sausages. Mix well.
Put the rice mixture into a large paella-type serving dish or individual bouillabaisse
bowls and arrange chicken on top. Serve immediately.
- Chorizo: I used Aidell's Chorizo-style Sausages. If they
aren't available in your area, any smoky, strong-flavored sausage will do fine.
- Tasso: This is cured pork with a spicy outer crust. It is
used in very small quantities. The spiciness goes very well with the preserved lemon and
saffron flavors in the rice. You could use smoked ham instead of tasso, but you might want
to let it sit in a mixture of a little cayenne and chili powder to get about the same
effect as tasso.
- Preserved lemons: These are very simple to make,
but take at least 7 days to cure. If you plan to make this dish using Moroccan-style
preserved lemons, you should start 7 days ahead. They keep indefinitely in the
refrigerator. If you don't have preserved lemons readily available, you can quickly make
an acceptable substitute by thinly slicing a fresh lemon and sautéing it slowly in olive
oil, a little sugar and salt until very tender. Chop into small pieces and use the same as
To make preserved lemons:
Cut small, thin skinned whole lemons into quarter sections down to about ¼" of the
base (keeping the lemon whole). Fan open the whole, quartered lemon and sprinkle with 2
TBS kosher salt.
Put prepared lemons into a jar and sprinkle with more a few more TBS of kosher salt.
Cover jar and put in cool place. Invert every other day for 7 days to distribute the salt
and accumulated juices evenly.
- Garlic: I always cut each clove in half and remove the
little green sprout in the center core before mincing. This sprout is indigestible and
- Mexican oregano: I use Mexican oregano, which has a
more pungent flavor than common dried oregano (could be mistaken for marijuana). This kind
of oregano lends itself especially well to being toasted in a dry pan before using, to
develop a smoky aroma. It is available in Hispanic grocery stores or by mail order from
Penzeys, Ltd., P.O. Box 1448, Waukesha, WI 53187. Telephone (414) 574-0277; fax (414)
- Saffron: For 2 cups of rice, I used about 20 threads.
Penzeys also offers good saffron by mail order.